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Table 1 Farmers’ soil types and perceived soil characteristics in studied districts of Wolaita Zone, southern Ethiopia.

From: Farmers’ soil knowledge, fertility management logic and its linkage with scientifically analyzed soil properties in southern Ethiopia

Local soil typesa Approximate connotation Indicators
Land unit Soil colorb Fertility Workability Permeability
Arrada bita Fertile soil GL Brown (42%) > reddish brown (20%) > dark reddish brown (17%) > gray (7%), other brownish Medium–high Easy to moderate Optimum
Lada bita Infertile soil GL to HL Brown = dark reddish brown (30% each), reddish brown (24%), yellowish brown (4%) Low Moderate Moderate–high
Gobo bita Highly permeable soil GL Dark reddish brown (42%) > reddish brown (32%) > brown (20%) Low > medium Moderate High
Talla bita Sticky soil GL to HL Brown = dark reddish brown (34% each), reddish brown (11%), gray (8%) Low–medium Difficult to work (sticky when wet and strong when dry) Low–moderate
Zo’o bita Red soil GL to HL Dark reddish brown (45%) > reddish brown (36%) > brown (11%) Low > medium Moderate Moderate–high
Chere bita High-water-retaining soil FL Gray (55%), grayish brown (17%), brown (15%), other gray to brownish Medium Difficult to work (when wet) Low (water-retaining soil)
Kereta bita Black soil FL to GL Brown (44%) > reddish brown (19%), grayish brown = gray (11%), dark gray = dark reddish brown (7.4%) Medium–high Difficult to work (when dry and wet) Moderate
Barta bita Soil on stony and eroded land HL Brown > pinkish brown = very dark gray Low Moderate High
Akiaka bita A field having both infertile and permeable soils HL Brown Medium Moderate High
Allo bita Soil on newly fallowed land HL Grayish brown Low Moderate High
Dubule bita Infertile and permeable soil GL to HL Brown Low Moderate High
Goshe bita Infertile soil on sloppy area HL Brown Very low Moderate Moderate
  1. ‘Bita’ literally means soil. Numbers in parenthesis indicate the percentages
  2. FL flat land, GL gentle slope land, HL hilly land
  3. aFarmers soil types that have different fertility levels are in the same soil type (Nitosols)
  4. bFarmers during soil survey indicated color of the soil, but for better explanation the authors used Munsel color chart